Breakdancing originated in the South Bronx of New York City in the early 1970s. During that time, street gangs and violence were really at an all-time high. Gang members would often stage an encounter to fight and show off violence. It started to decline with the emerging new culture by Afrikaa Bambaataa – Hip Hop.
The hip-hop culture encouraged youth to channel violence into dance and creativity. Along with the introduction of hip hop in N.Y.C. is also the emergence of breakdancing in the Bronx.
Breakdancing is often associated with hip-hop music and style. Most breakdancing songs synced on to hip hop music in its earlier years. Hip hop music has become good breakdancing songs even today. Most breakers would dance to the tune and groove of hip hop when B-boying.
However, hip-hop songs are not the only genre that can be used for breakdancing. There are plenty of genres you can consider great breakdancing songs. You can choose funk, soul music, and breakbeat music when B-boying. These genres are being remixed and usually last longer than most hip-hop songs.
To help you start your groove, read on as we compiled the best breakdancing songs for beginners. These songs will lift your energy while dancing to the beat of the music.
What was the first breakdance song?
Breakdancing songs are not only restricted to hip-hop music. As mentioned earlier, you can use funk, electro, disco, soul when B-boying. These musical genres are combined and remixed to create a good breakdancing routine.
The first breakdance song popularized is ‘Looking for the Perfect Beat’ by Bambaataa. Then it is following by ‘It Just Begun’ by Jimmy Castor and ‘Get on the Foot’ by James Brown. These earliest breakdancing songs paved the way for musical genres use for B-boying.
Among the genres use for breakdancing are the following:
- Hip hop
Of course, hip-hop music is often associated with breakdancing. It is also known as rap music and originated in the United States. The music was developed by African Americans and Latino Americans in the 1970s.
The music is usually composed of rhyming speech, rapping, and chants.
Hip-hop music also introduced has four elements, including rapping, scratching, turntables and breakdancing.
You will also hear beats or beatboxing. The earliest hip-hop song recorded was Here Comes the Judge by Pigmeat Markham.
Funk music is another musical genre that originated from African American communities.
Its earlier conception was in the mid-1960s.
Funk is a combination of soul, jazz, rhythm, and blues. The music is danceable, making it ideal for breakdancing. When you hear funk, you will notice some elements of melody, chord, and progressions. Compared to other musical genres, funk has slower tempos and rhythms. The goal is to make the music hypnotic but danceable. Thus, jazz will always be one of the critical elements of funk. Among some funk songs highly popularized are the songs introduced by James Brown.
Soul is a popular genre in the United States. It also originated in the African American communities in the 1950s. This musical genre combines various elements, including gospel music, blues, and jazz.
Soul music was greatly popularized during the Civil Rights movement in America.
Some recording labels in this genre are Motown, Stax, and Atlantic.
The genre arose out of the black experience in America. The experience enabled them to transform it into music with gospel, blues, and rhythm. You would notice elements of handclaps, extemporaneous moves in soul music. The genre directly influences rock music and African music, as well.
Another excellent music use for breakdancing is disco. Disco was famous during the 1970s. It is dance music often hear in America’s urban nightlife scene during that time. The sound produced by this music is groovy and beatable. Some elements present in disco are horns, electric piano, string, synthesizes, beats, etc.
Disco music highly permeated American society. Different venues popularized this genre, like Philadelphia and New York City. Some groups like African Americans, Hispanics, Latino, and even gay men are into disco music. The nightlife in the areas mentioned was vibrant and alive with disco music. Fashion and trends also followed during the popularity of disco music. It was a reaction against the dominance of rock music and stigmatization at that time.
Jazz is a popular musical genre in New Orleans, Louisiana, and other states in the U.S. Compared to other genres mentioned, jazz music is younger. Jazz came to prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jazz is a combination of blue and ragtime.
This musical genre is a form of musical expression.
Most African Americans and European Americans create it.
These groups formed a bond through jazz.
Jazz music is usually composed of swing, blue notes, and even complex chords. There are some elements of call and response vocals as well as improvisation.
What music do you use for breakdancing?
There are various musical genres you can use for breakdancing. Some of this music includes jazz, soul, hip, hop, and disco. These genres are remixed to create an excellent breakdancing routine.
Here are the top 10 songs you can use for breakdancing:
- Looking For The Perfect Beat
- Planet Rock
- When I Hear Music
- Play at your Own Risk
- Let the Music Play
- Tour De France
- Don’t Stop the Rock
- The Breaks
- I Need Love
‘Looking for the Perfect Beat’ is one of the first breakdancing songs popularized in the 1980s. It is a song by the hip-hop icon Afrika Bambaataa with the Soulsonic Force.
The song was released in December 1982 and gained recognition from the hip-hop community.
It also ranked 13 among the ‘Tracks of the Year’ in 1983.
Clear by Cybotron is also an excellent breakdancing song. It has plenty of synthesizers, hard-driving beats, and sparse.
It was released in September 1993 and sold more than fifty thousand copies.
The song was described as a first-generation piece of machine music. It makes the song groundbreaking and popular.
Juice was released by the World Class Wreckin’ Cru in America. It is under the electro genre that became famous in Los Angeles. The group earned recognition during the 1980s. There are other great songs released by the group including Surgery, and Lovers. Its group members, including Dr. Dre and D.J. Yella, went to fame as members of N.W.A.
The Planet Rock is an album made by Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force. The album was released in 1986 with song singles, including ‘Planet Rock.’ The song is considered one of the first hip-hop music that hit massively. It ranked by the Rolling Stone magazine in the list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It also received become the first gold-certified vinyl 12-inch single song. It is also included in the Best Albums of the 1980s by Slant Magazine.
Scorpio is a song by the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, released in 1981.
The song was produced by Jigsaw Prod and written by The Furious Five. It was part of the ‘The Message’ album and reached #30 on the R&B singles chart.
It also reached the U.K. and ranked #77 on the U.K. Singles Chart. Some reviewed that ‘Scorpio’ is one of the greatest electro tracks released at that time.
The song ‘When I Hear Music’ is a freestyle song sung by Debbie Deb. Tony Butler produced the song. The song incorporated some bassline elements from the ‘Planet Rock’ by Afrika Bambaataa. It also has some elements of video game sound effects and chimes. Some reviews described the song as booty electro and not the usual freestyle duets.
Play at your Own Risk is made by Planet Patrol. They are an American electro group during the 1980s. The group members are Arthur Baker, John Robie, Herbert Jackson, among others. The most popular song released by the group is Play at your Own Risk. The song was created from tracks of Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa.
The Let the Music Play was recorded by Shannon. The album that included the song made its debut in 1983. Chris Barbosa wrote the song while Mark Liggett made the production. The song made number one on the U.S. Dance Club Songs chart in 1983. It also hit the number two spot on the Hot R&B and Hip-Hop Songs chart. More than that, the Let the Music Play also ranked eight on the Billboard Hot 100. The song introduced the dance-pop era in America after its release.
Tour de France is from the German electro band Kraftwerk.
The song made a release in August 1983 and hit the number 22 spot in the U.K.
It became notable because of voices and mechanical sounds from cycling. It is unique with its electro percussion pattern present in the music.
Don’t Stop the Rock is a song played by the Freestylers. It is an electronic music group based in the United Kingdom. The group produced five studio albums, including the song – Don’t Stop the Rock.
The song Joystick is a popular song that hit in 1983. It is a hit single by the Dazz Band. The song made it to number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100 while top 9 on the Black Singles Chart. Today, you will often hear the song in video games like PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube. Also, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and G.T.A. V.
Kurtis Blow made ‘The Breaks’ a mega-hit. He is an American rapper in the 1980s.
The song made it to number 87 on the Billboard Hot 100 and a first certified gold rap song.
In 2008, it was able to hit #10 in VH1’s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs.
The song is performed by L.L. Cool J. The song hit the top spot on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It also ranked number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. It reached the United States and became #8 in the U.K. Singles Chart.
Music is an essential element of breakdancing. It makes the dance routine lively, and most dance styles and steps are in sync with the songs. Breakdancing will not be as good as it could be without the music. The body movement, style, coordination, and tempo are highly dependent on the song used.
Hip-hop may be the number one genre associated with breakdancing, but there are many options to choose from. You can combine jazz, funk, electro, and other genres to make a B-boying remix. Most D.J.s combined these genres to create spontaneity and excitement. As a result, the routine is more interesting to watch, and breakers are able to groove to the music well. They can do footwork, top rock, freeze and other breakdancing style using a song. It is a helpful way to know the sequences of the steps and dance.